The Black Cultural Archives in Brixton recently hosted an exhibition in association with Sky TV, using a selection of Neil Kenlock’s photos. The exhibition titled ‘Guerrilla in Pictures’ aimed to tell the true story of the British black power movement of the 1970’s. This was alongside the release of the fictional television drama Guerrilla set in that era. However, the drama was only inspired by the movement and was not a true story.
Unlike in the television series, the British Black Panthers were a non-violent group, who encouraged black people to learn about their history and stand against racism, using peaceful methods only. Neil Kenlock spent a number of years as a photojournalist documenting their demonstrations and other experiences of black people at the time.
A comment Kenlock previously made about John Ridley casting Freda Pinto in the series and on the show’s historical accuracy has been taken out of context on a number of websites.
He would like to clarify, “I was not hired as a ‘historical adviser’ or ‘script consultant’ for Guerrilla. As a photographer, I allowed the use of my images.”
“I have never said the show was historically accurate. It was not a true story. As you can see in my photographs, The British Black Panther movement was peaceful and it was led by strong, black women like Olive Morris (pictured above) and Althea Lecointe. Although, Mala Sen, (who is Asian) was a part of it, black women played a leading role.”
Kenlock shares his thoughts on his photos:
“I am proud of the images that I took back in the 60’s and 70’s. I didn’t understand how significant they would be and that today they would illustrate our struggle and determination.”
The exhibition has now closed, but you if you are interested in more information or would like to see his collection at the BCA please use the links below.
Learn more about the Black Cultural Archives.
Contact us for further information on the Kenlock Archive.